The Indian rupee appreciated 21 paise against the US currency on Thursday in early trade on dollar selling by banks and exporters amid hopes of firm opening on the domestic stock markets in line with better trends on other Asian bourses.
At the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market, the domestic currency traded higher at 48.90 against the US currency, a rise of 21 paise over the previous close of 49.11/12 a dollar.
On Wednesday, the rupee gained 9 paise to close at 49.11/12 a dollar.
Forex dealers said dollar selling by banks, recovery on the Asian equity markets and hopes of Indian stock markets opening higher, helped the rupee to strengthen.
The dollar's weakness against some other Asian currencies also supported the rupee, they said.
Among Asian markets, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1.23 per cent, while Japan's Nikkei remained almost flat in early trade on Thursday.